QUEENSBURY - A dozen volunteers were ready to unloaded boxes Monday from the tailgate of a delivery truck, but the shipment was delayed, as it was several times last week.
The volunteers were waiting for thousands of thick books, which represent the conclusion of a nine-year project by the Warren County Historical Society to connect present and future residents of the county with their heritage.
The 3,000 books, which were still in transit Tuesday, are copies of the society's new publication, "Warren County: Its People & Their History over Time."
Sixteen chapters long, the book will soon be available to the public, assuming it finally arrives.
Containing a formidable 496 pages, the book is a social history of the county, depicting life as it was in various locales in the county, through many eras.
The book will be formally presented to county officials and the public Sunday Nov. 29 at a ceremony to be held 2 to 4 p.m. at Scoville Learning Center of Adirondack Community College. The event includes a synopsis of the book and a talk about the significance of the book's publication, offered by state Historian Robert Arnold.
From the French and Indian War, to the first settlers of local townships through the vibrant 1950s and evolutionary decades since, the book tracks the changes in society and lifestyles, members of the county Historical Society said this week.
"It's been a considerable effort," Historical Society President Marilyn VanDyke said about the book's development. "The project included a lot of new research," she said. "The book depicts how people have lived and worked for centuries."
Only three books have to date tackled the county's history: Smith's History of Warren County- published in 1882; a history book produced by the federal Works Project Administration in the 1940s; and William H. Brown's "History of Warren County," published in 1963.
Most of the authors of the chapter of the brand-new book are local, or they have deep roots here.
Authors include Warren County Historian John Austin, Phil Harris of Lake George, Historian Tom Nesbitt, Martha Strodel of Warrensburg, Historians/Writers Tom Calarco and Bill Gates of Bolton, Joan Aldous of Lake George and son Ken, retired ACC professor Norman Enhorning, Theodore Corbett, Ruth Lamb, Michelle Collins, Marilyn VanDyke, Stan Cianfarano, Frieda Toth of Glens Falls, and freelance writer Roy Urrico of Queensbury.
The chapters include accounts of the formation of the county and its first settlers; local farming and rural industries including logging; the life and influence of Native Americans of the region; Victorian and more contemporary resorts and tourism; the temperance movement and women's rights' movements locally; the strife and challenges of the American Revolution; how local residents were involved in the many wars of recent centuries; and the evolving lifestyles in the quiet, seasonal upcounty communities.
Subjects also include the growth of industries and commerce in Glens Falls; tourism, marketing of the area and the development of the Northway; and Glens Falls as a prosperous urban hub.
The book was edited initially by Theodore Corbett, followed by Patrick Dowd of Glens Falls who finished the substantial editing work.
The book is now available for purchase at a price of $40.plus tax. The volumes will be available at a variety of upcoming area book-signing events: 5 p.m. Thursday Dec. 3 at Red Fox Books in Glens Falls, 7 p.m. Dec. 3 in the Hague Town Hall, 7 p.m. Friday Dec. 4 at the Lake Luzerne Town Hall, 3 p.m. Saturday Dec. 5 at Willows Bistro in Warrensburg, and 7 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Village Booksmith in Hudson Falls. For details, call 743-0734.
Historical Society President Marilyn VanDyke said the publication of the book was a substantial undertaking.
"This is a major new volume, and I'm certain I won't see another book like this published in my lifetime," she said.